Discovery Communications Reviews | Glassdoor

Discovery Communications Reviews

Updated February 16, 2017
583 reviews

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583 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Any promises of work/life balance is just lip service (in 32 reviews)

  • all of upper management is scared to say no to leadership (in 32 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Zero Transparency From Senior Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefit, good work-life balance, good coworkers.

    Cons

    You have no idea what senior management is thinking about. They say one thing and do another, leaving employees blindsided. The most political place I have ever worked in. Some managers do not value employees based on work performance, but based on whoever is their favorite. Later the manager would form a clique with whoever is their favorite, and exclude others from getting information. Some managers are very dishonest and passive aggressive. They don't give employees direct or real comments about their work, instead, they set people up behind their back. Very toxic leadership style.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent to employees, and communicate better with employees instead of judging people based on their look, race or other unrelated reasons. Value employee based on their actual work performance.


  2. "Very political and behind the digital times"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Vice President in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you have a great boss, and I had several, it is a good place to work. Creative, collaborative and supportive with good benefits - though lower than industry standard pay.

    Cons

    The problem is with the constant reorganization you can go from having a good leader who knows how to manage and bring out the best in their team to having a nightmare for a boss. Unfortunately, most of the really good executive and senior management are gone. The politics are unlike anything I've seen in any other company - counterproductive, unhealthy and unethical behavior. I witnessed bullying of employees by senior management. Senior management lay off high performing employees to bring in their own people or because of personality differences - which is not uncommon in cable or other industries but the extent at Discovery is extreme. I have worked for Scripps, AETN and Fox/Nat Geo and Discovery is the most dysfunctional work environment I have seen in twenty years in the business. It cripples the high performers and makes them leave. Discovery is woefully behind in digital but the culture of fear is a greater problem. From what I saw, HR is part of the issue.

    Advice to Management

    To the Board. Get some new blood on the board. DZ and RR need to go and a fairly comprehensive clean sweep of HR is needed, from the top down.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Amazing benefits! Great people! Honest social action! Totally insane politics!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    Discovery is a very interesting place to work for. The benefits are to be quite honest out of this world. They day of volunteering is no joke, you will go out and volunteer and you will feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of that day. You will also feel sore. The building is beautiful, and the people who work there are by and large really good people. The mission is honorable, educate and entertain people. That means a lot.

    Cons

    The politics are complex and in my opinion can be quite dangerous. Use care, as there are exceptionally toxic undercurrents that can sweep you up and take you down. Never seen anything quite like it, it goes beyond the standard company in transition sort of thing or the re-factoring of work type of politics. It's different, unusual, and to a certain type of personality very not-good.

    Also I'd recommend that one guard their home and personal life carefully, or they may find it consumed.

    Advice to Management

    There is a serious and systemic politics/power issue in this company, and I think it really starts from the top. I'm not sure if it's something you can or should fix, perhaps it simply is what it is, it serves a purpose, and if you can't play the game you have to leave. But be aware of it and try to be clear about it in your dealings.


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  5. "Run far, far, away (especially from Digital Media)…"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Discovery has a great mission as a purpose-driven company and one that on the surface is great for diversity, families, the environment, and society at large. The reach of the brand is second to none as they are truly an International Company and their benefits are incredible and top-notch. There is a general sense of pride you can have working there and the corporate offices in Silver Spring, LA, and New York are beautiful.

    Cons

    On the flip-side, the reality of working there is very, very different than what they advertise publicly. The organization is highly political where there are competing fiefdoms and where nepotism and favoritism run rampant. There is a culture of fear that unfortunately starts at the top. It’s not about what you actually deliver, but how willing you are to “kiss the ring” of people who are only in positions of power based on whom they are friends with and by how much they can sap the lifeblood out of the others whom actually do the work. It’s quite astonishing. Diversity is something that is lauded, but not respected in practice above the Director level.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace Technology and Diversity(Thought, Gender, Culture). “Drain the swamp” of ineffective, old, and toxic leadership. Reward innovation and empower all levels of the organization to feel equally invested in the company’s success. This starts with encouraging a culture of Communication, Transparency, Creativity, and Accountability. Discovery has a great history. Don’t let it’s legacy be corrupted by unethical, out-of-step, and antiquated ideas of leadership driven by ego.


  6. "Great Short Term Job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits great, pay okay, people great, severance package not bad

    Cons

    Re-org every 12 months.
    Silo do not communicate
    Lack of Opportunities to grow

    Advice to Management

    If you re-org and remove positions every year you will get what you deserve.


  7. "Good company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, CEO is well-spoken and authentic. Often encouraged to leave early on Fridays during the summer as official policy, pretty cool.

    Cons

    Sometimes upper-level management decisions don't seem to take into account or at least address recommendations or questions from lower level employees, which can be frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Don't ignore employee questions or feedback, even if you don't agree with it.


  8. "Master Controller Operator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Master Controller Operator in Smyrna, GA
    Former Employee - Master Controller Operator in Smyrna, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I learned a tremendous amount about broadcasting and the process as a whole.

    Cons

    I have nothing bad or good to say about my former employer


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Re-Orgs Galore"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chevy Chase, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chevy Chase, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, established company with a mission you can get behind, ability to take a project and run with it.

    Cons

    Constant re-orgs and changes in leadership are killing morale (especially in Silver Spring). Silo effect between departments makes collaboration between disciplines more difficult than it should be. Hard to get promoted from inside the company. Most people seem to leave and come back in a higher position.

    Advice to Management

    Look at the talent you already have when new positions needs to be filled. Better transparency and stability from leadership will do wonders for employees.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Too top heavy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Creative Services in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Creative Services in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The Company has good brand recognition

    Cons

    Discovery Too top heavy. Does not promote within. not enough training to help staff excel.

    Advice to Management

    promote and nurture the folks who have worked for the company for years.


  11. "Discovery communications"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Discovery Communications full-time

    Pros

    Great Benefits and work life balance.

    Cons

    Hard to get promoted, not a lot of job opportunities unless you live in Silver Spring Md, NYC or try-state area



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